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24.7.08

Edwards, Brown penalty reductions set bad examples

Requests have been forwarded to Pres. George W. Bush to commute the sentence of Prisoner #03128-095, formerly known as ex-Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, and to pardon the former Prisoner #03312-095, now known as ex-Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown. For different reasons, neither is a good idea.

Some high-profile individuals, including past political opponents of Edwards’, have argued that because of his advanced age Edwards ought to be let go early, or at the very least be let out 18 months early when, at the beginning of 2010, he becomes eligible for parole. I’m sure it’s tough on an elderly dude and his family for him to be in prison, but it’s not a reason good enough to spring him prematurely.

I guess Edwards wasn’t thinking about those hardships when he was performing the crime that got him convicted of influence peddling. And the precedent that would be set would not be in the public interest: if you can hang on long enough before and after being caught instead of reforming your ways and/or not committing that abuse of the public trust so as to be elderly when convicted, you can cheat paying back your debt to society.

While Brown’s crimes were less serious, which actually came about during an investigation of more serious crimes for which he escaped conviction, he asks for a full pardon so legally if was as if the crime never existed. Brown has bent over backwards to convince the world the crime didn’t exist, even going so far as to writing a book about his situation.

However, that evidence certainly did not convince multiple courts that he was persecuted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including the U.S. Supreme Court who twice turned down appeals by him. Therefore, in order for Brown really to have proof of his innocence rejected so often, there would have to be a fix in not just with the federal government and its prosecutors, but with the entire U.S. judiciary by his cosmology. If he really believes this, next thing you know he’ll be talking about his alien abduction.

If Brown showed some repentance, instead of falsely asserting his innocence, some thought to grant his request might be in order. But to pardon him would send the message that, no matter how phantom your innocence may be, if you squawk long and loud enough you can get, in essence, declared innocent, inviting more such antics by elected officials seeing this example.

For the public good, Bush needs to throw both requests into the shredder.

2 comments:

James S said...

Though Edwards is, by far, the more egregious criminal, neither of these men deserve any consideration for a pardon. Edwards can lay claim to being the greatest influence since Huey Long on Louisiana's continued residence at the bottom of every favorable listing in this part of the world. He is a brilliant man so his is the greater sin. He could have done much to help move the state away from its welfare mentality but chose to skirt the limits of honesty till he was caught.

Brown?-he's just a simple liar and needs to shut up.

John said...

I agree James s. The entire manner in which we treat crime needs to be overhauled. If we were to make more of a deterrent for crime our lives would be safer and the money saved from building more prisons and adding more security could be diverted to other glaring problems such as welfare reform.

Edwards should have experienced his last free day on this earth. If we force *complete* restitution, then maybe others will think twice about living by the laws normal society abides by.